Chicago Cubs, Fox Sports Net Form Partnership To Show CPS Students ‘Reading Is Cool’

CHICAGO– This school year, elementary students throughout the Chicago Public Schools will be treated to story time with some of their favorite Chicago Cubs personalities, while learning valuable life lessons and character education traits.

The FOX Sports Net Chicago initiative is a videotaped series of children’s books read by Chicago Cubs officials and players, which was designed to show CPS students that “Reading is Cool.” Among the celebrities participating in the series, coordinated by FOX Sports Net Chicago at Wrigley Field this summer, are former All-Star Ryne Sandberg, First Baseman Mark Grace, Second Baseman Eric Young and pitcher Jon Lieber. “Reading is Cool” was unveiled at today’s Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies game at Wrigley Field and will be introduced to all elementary schools following the upcoming Character Education Conference Oct. 27.

“When children know that their role models think reading is important, they will too,” said Paul Vallas, CPS chief executive officer. “We commend the Chicago Cubs for taking the time to do this project during their season and FOX Sports Net Chicago for dedicating the staff to produce it. Programs such as this one allow students to see their heroes as real people who have used education to help them reach their goals.”

FOX Sports Net Chicago will provide every CPS elementary school with a videotape of the series, along with “Reading is Cool” posters for each classroom and bookmarks for all 335,000 CPS students reinforcing the CPS and Illinois State Board of Education’s recommended character education traits: kindness and helpfulness, family pride, cooperation, respect, honesty and truthfulness, courage, responsibility, friendship, fairness, work ethic, courtesy and caring. Videotapes of the series will also be issued to each school’s library.

“The ‘Reading is Cool’ program was created to enhance the enjoyment of reading for children at all elementary levels in the Chicago Public School system,” said James J. Corno, senior vice president/general manager for FOX Sports Net Chicago. “We’d like to thank the CPS, the Chicago Cubs and our corporate sponsors PrimeCo and Hyundai, for making this program come to fruition.”

“The Chicago Cubs are proud to promote reading to Chicago Public School students from all elementary levels in this unique education initiative,” added John McDonough, vice president of marketing and broadcasting for the Chicago Cubs.

The books selected
include: the work ethic selection, “The Hired Hand” by Robert San Souci; the book about courage, “JoJo’s Flying Side Kick” by Brian Pinkney; the reading on courtesy, “Stone Soup” by Marcia Brown; respect’s focus, “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” by William Steig; the story of caring, “Abuela” by Arthur Dorros; and the concept of family pride, “When I Was Young and in the Mountains” by Cynthia Rylant.

“Reading is important. You’re going to have to read for the rest of your life, whether it’s a newspaper or a stats report,” said Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lieber, who participated in the series.

Video presentations of the “Reading is Cool” series will be made Friday, Oct. 27 at the CPS’ Character Education Conference Luncheon in the Congress Hotel.

The Chicago Public Schools is the third-largest school system in the U.S. and second-largest employer in Illinois with more than 45,000 employees. It has 601 elementary and high schools and more than 431,000 students.


Stacy Adams
CPS Office of Communications
Telefax: 773-553-1621

Jeffrey Nuich
FOX Sports Net Chicago